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1 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 



Thi±8 One 



II 




NPR7-ZAB-T5DN 



Copyright, 1903, by Henry Altemus. 



DEDICATION 

TO MY PRESENT LITTLE MASTEB, HARBY 



My dear LITTLE Master: 

You have been kind to me, but you have 
spoken contemptuously of donkeys in general. 
1 want you to know better what sort of animals 
donkeys really are, and so I have written for 
you this story of my life. You will see, 
my dear little Master, that we donkeys have 
been, and still are, often badly treated by 
human beings. We are often very nice, in- 
deed ; but I must also confess that in my youth 
I sometimes behaved very badly, and you will 
see how I was punished for it, and how unhappy 
I was, and how at last I repented, and my 
friends and masters forgave me and were kind 
to me again. So, when you have read my his- 
tory, you won't say any more *'as stupid as a 
donkey,'' or *'as obstinate as a donkey," but 
**as sensible as a donkey," **as clever as a 
donkey," or **as gentle as a donkey." 

Hee-haw! my dear little Master, hee-haw! 
I hope you will never be like what I was when 
I was young. 

I remain, 

Your obedient servant, 

Neddy. 
(vii) 



INTRODUCTION 



IN this book a donkey tells the story of his 
life and adventures, because, as he says: 
**I want you to treat all of us donkeys 
kindly, and to remember that we are often much 
more sensible than some human beings." 

In the preface to the original edition — Me- 
moir es D'un Arte, published in France in 1860— 
the donkey speaks very highly of his own wit 
and intelligence, claiming those qualities in a 
larger degree than most donkeys possess; and 
throughout the book he is quite proud of his suc- 
cesses in outwitting some of his masters and 
mistresses— in fact, his story begins with an 
account of a trick he played in his youth. 

The author of The Story of a Donkey was the 

daughter of Count Rostopchine, Governor of 

ix 



X INTRODUCTION 

Moscow in 1812, when Napoleon Bonaparte 
made his disastrous retreat from that city. She 
became the wife of Count de Segur, one of the 
proudest nobles of France, some ten years later, 
but not until she was nearly sixty years of age 
did she begin to write books for children, of 
which she has some twenty to her credit. This 
book is probably the most popular and enter- 
taining of her works, but because much that 
appears in the original would interest only 
French boys and girls, in this version the scene 
has been taken to England, where donkeys are 
much more common than with us, and the inter- 
esting and amusing adventures of Neddy are 
told as happening in that country. 

J. H. W. 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTEB PAOK 

I. Market Days .• . 15 

II. I Find a New Home 26 

III. I Become Idle and Bad 37 

IV. I Win a Race 50 

V. I Make New Friends 63 

VI. A New Experience 76 

VII. I Hear Myself Called Clever . . . .92 

VIII. I Have My Revenge 107 

(xi) 



jl:^>^^. 







.m'' 

.i;i 



(xii) 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



PAGE 

" 'Every one was pleased with my intelligence* " Frontispiece. 

** * I never tasted anything so good ' " 16 

The severe and ill-tempered farmer's wife adds her weight 

to the load 17 

** * She seized her stick and began to bang me ' " . .19 
The farmer's wife is carried away after being kicked by 

the donkey 21 

*** I jumped clean over the hedge' " 23 

The donkey surprises the good woman by putting his head 

on her shoulder 27 

*** Granny, may I stroke him,' he said" . . . .29 

** * What do you want, Laddie,' said the innkeeper " 31 
George puts the donkey into Greycoat's shed, and feeds 

him 33 

** * George's father sold me to a farmer '" . . . 35 

The donkey plays the farmer a trick by hiding in a ditch 39 

** I b^gan to say, * Hee-haw ! Hee-haw !' "... 43 

" He carefully stopped up every hole " .... 45 
The donkey has behaved so badly that his master sells 

him 47 

" * I trod on the fowls, and bit the pigs ' " . . . 49 
**The people were walking in procesHion" . . .51 
The donkey learns that the winner of the race will receive 

a prize 53 

** He can have me for his mistress" 57 

" * I put the watch and bag into her hands ' " . 59 

( xiii) 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

PAOB 

The donkey, disgusted at the treatment given him, trots 

away 61 

** * Poor donkey I how thin you are ' " . . . . 65 
*** Let me see him closer, my dears' " . . . .67 
The donkey find not only new friends, but comfortable 

quarters 69 

The donkey finds his work is pleasant and not hard . . 73 
"* They brought me cool, juicy lettuces* " ... 75 
** Marched proudly about with their guns** . . .77 
The boys eat as though they never saw food before . 79 
The boys start off with keepers and dogs. The donkey 

keeps to ihe rear 83 

" * You *ve shot our very best dog' " . . . . 85 
Norman's father corrects his conceited son . . .87 

** The boys buried my friend in the garden " . . 90 

" * Jack and his cousin rode on my back '" . . .93 
The showman leads in the dismal-looking and hungry 

donkey 95 

The showman's donkey receives instructions . . .99 

** * I leaped right into the ring ' " 101 

** * They said I had gone up a ladder ' " . . . .103 
To regain his liberty, the donkey clears a path with his 

heels 105 

** Norman's face and hands were nicely scratched " . . 109 
** * I jerked Norman off my back ' " .... Ill 

**He was soaked through and through with mud" . .113 

** He saddled the other donkey " 115 

The donkey, who has run away, meets old acquaintances 117 

** Robert led him away " 119 

*'* I trotted behind them to a little inn'" ... 120 
The donkey tries to atone for his unkindness . . . 121 
The repentant donkey is able to catch a thief . . 125 

(xiv) 







THE STORY OF A DONKEY 



CHAPTER I 



MABKET DAYS 



MEN, poor things! can't be expected to 
know as much as donkeys, and so you 
probably don't know that there was a 
market in our country-town every Tuesday, and 
that at this market vegetables were sold, and 
butter and eggs and cheese and fruit and 
many other nice things. 

15 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

Tuesday was a miserable day for us poor 
donkeys, especially for me. I belonged to a 
farmer's wife, and she was very severe and ill- 
tempered. Just think ! every week she used to 
load up my back with all the eggs her hens laid, 
all the butter and cheese she made from the milk 
of her cows, all the vegetables and fruit that 
were ready for market out of her garden, and 
then she got on the top of it all herself, and beat 
me with a hard, knotty stick because my poor 
thin legs did n't carry her, a great fat woman, 
and all that load besides, to market as fast as she 
liked. I trotted, I almost galloped, but that 
farmer's wife belabored me all the same. I 
used to get very angry at such cruelty and in 
justice ; I tried to kick and knock her off, but I 
was loaded down too heavily, and so I could only 
wobble about from side to side ; but I did have 
the satisfaction of knowing that she was well 
jolted. Then she would growl, ''Ah, you 
wretched animal! see if I don't give you what 
for!" and began beating me again till I could 
scarcely keep on my legs. 

One day we reached the market-town in this 
t6 








1^ 4>r 



H 

H 

S 



I? n 



17 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

way, and the baskets with which my poor back 
had been nearly crushed to pieces were taken 
off and set down upon the ground. My mistress 
hitched me up to a post, and went away to get 
her dinner. I was dying of hunger and thirst, 










Sc?^^"^* 



^--^w^ 

..^v 



*SHE SEIZED HER STICK AND BEGAN TO BANG ME.' 



but nobody thought of offering me a single blade 
of grass or a drop of water; so while the 
farmer's wife was away, I managed to get my 
head close up to the basket of vegetables, and 
had some refreshment made up of several cab- 

19 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

bages and lettuces. I never tasted anything so 
good. 

I had just finished the last cabbage and the 
last lettuce in that basket when my mistress came 
back. She cried out when she saw the empty 
basket, and I looked at her with such an im- 
pudent and self-satisfied air, that she at once 
guessed that I was the culprit who had com- 
mitted the crime. I won't repeat to you the 
nastj^ things she said to me ; she was a very low 
person, and when she was angry she used lan- 
guage which was enough to make me blush, 
donkey as I was. So after heaping me with 
abuse, of which I took no notice beyond licking 
my lips and turning my back on her, she seized 
her stick and began to bang me so severely, that 
at last I lost patience, and launched out three 
kicks. The first kick broke her nose and two 
teeth, the second sprained her wrist, and the 
third knocked her flat. 

A score of people at once set upon me and 
knocked me about. They picked up my mistress 
and carried her away, leaving me fastened to the 
post, by the side of which were spread out the 

20 




%'-SUry of a D^nktjf. 



21 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

things I had brought to be sold in the market. I 
remained there a long while, and, finding that no 
one paid any more attention to me, I ate a second 
basketful of excellent vegetables, and then with 
my teeth I gnawed through the cord that tied 



1/ 










JUMPED CLEAN OVER THE HEDGE.' 



me up, and quietly took the road home. I did 
not intend to run away altogether ; I had broken 
my mistress's nose, and hurt her wrist, and 
knocked her down, and I thought I was suflS- 
eiently revenged. The people at the farm had 

23 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

paid money for me, so I belonged to them, and 
it would n't be honest to run away. 

Mary, my mistress's little girl, saw me come 
back. 

''Hallo, here 's Neddy," she said, ''how early 
he is! Jim, come and take off his pack-saddle." 

"That wretched donkey," growled Jim, 
"always something to be don*e for him! Why is 
he all by himself! I expect he 's run away from 
mother. You beast!" he added, giving me a 
kick. 

My saddle and bridle were taken off, and I 
galloped off to the meadow. Suddenly I heard 
shrieks. I looked over the hedge, and saw some 
men carrying my mistress home. Then I heard 
Jim say: 

"I say, father, I 'm going to take the cart- 
whip, and I shall tie that donkey to a tree, and 
then whip him till he can't stand." 

"All right, my lad," said my master, "but 
mind and don't kill him, for he cost money. 
I '11 sell him next fair-day." 

I shuddered when I heard this. There was n't 
a moment to be lost. This time I did n't care 

24 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

whether they lost their money or not. I just 
made a run and jumped clean over the hedge, 
and fled till I was out of sight, hearing, and lost 
to view in the depths of a beautiful large forest, 
where there was plenty of soft grass and moss 
to eat, and plenty of sparkling brooks to drink 
out of. 

25 



CHAPTER II 

I FIND A NEW HOME 

1 LIVED in the forest for about a month, and 
enjoyed myself very much indeed, taking 
care every day to get farther and farther 
away from the village where my former master* 
lived. 

At last it began to get cold, for winter was 
coming on, and I thought it high time to look 
out for a comfortable home; so I trotted on 
right through the forest, and out at the other 
side, and after some days' traveling, I arrived 
at a village that I had never seen or heard of be- 
fore. Here I felt I should be safe from pursuit. 
Just outside the village there stood a little 
cottage in a garden quite by itself. It seemed 
very clean and neat. A good woman was sitting 
by the door doing some needlework. I thought 

26 






>¥>> - 







, 7^~.v ,1 Mkjj 'V .lira? 

e'^ '*- I -fervid HTv" r9?:^v^**?J^' 

I ( ' If 1 /-S:;f^i'> 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 



she looked both kind and sad; so I went up to 
her, and put my head on her shoulder. 

The good woman gave a shriek, and jumped 
up in a hurry. 

I did not move, but lifted my face towards 
hers with a gentle and pleading look. 




"'GRANNY, MAY I STROKE HIM,' HE SAID." 

'*Poor thing!" she said at last, **you don't 
look a bad creature. If you don't belong to any 
one, I should be glad of you to take the place of 
my poor Graycoat, who died the other day of old 
age; and in that way I should still be able to 

29 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

earn ray living by taking my vegetables to 
market to sell. But," she added, with a sigh, 
**you Ve got a master somewhere I '11 be 
bound. ' ' 

** Granny, who are you talking to?" said 
a pleasant little voice from the house; and a 
nice little boy came out of the door. He was 
six or seven years old, poorly but very neatly 
dressed. He looked at me, half admiringly, half 
afraid. 

** Granny, may I stroke him?" he said. 

'*0f course you may, George, my dear," said 
the old woman, ''but take care it does n't bite 
you." 

The little boy stretched up his hand, but he 
was so short that he had to stand on tip-toe be- 
fore he could reach my back. I did n 't move, for 
fear of frightening him ; I only turned my head 
round, and licked his hand. 

''Oh, granny, granny! just see what a dear 
donkey! he 's licked my hand!" 

"It's very strange," said George's grand- 
mother, "that he should be here all by himself. 
Go to the village, my dear, aixd ask whether any- 

30 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

body has lost a donkey. Perhaps his master is 
very anxious about him." 

George set off with a run, and I trotted after 
him. When he saw me come up, and then stand 
still by a mound on the roadside, he climbed up 
onto my back, and said, * * Gee-up ! ' ' 




" « WHAT DO YOU WANT, LADDIE,' SAID THE INNKEEPER 



I galloped along, and George was enchanted. 
When we got to the village inn, George cried, 
''Wo back!" and I stopped immediately. 

''What do you want, laddie!" said the inn- 
keeper. 

31 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

''Please, sir, do you know whose donkey this 
is?" 

The innkeeper came out, and looked me all 
over. ''No, my boy, he is n't mine, and he 
does n't belong to any one I know. Go and ask 
farther on." 

So George went right through the village ask- 
ing the same question, but nobody had ever seen 
me before ; and so we went back to the good old 
woman, who was still sitting with her work at 
the cottage door. 

"So you can't find his master, my dear? 
Very well, then, we can keep him till he is re- 
claimed. He must n't stay out all night. Take 
him to* poor Graycoat's shed, and give him some 
hay and a pail of water." 

The next morning George came to fetch me 
out of the shed, and gave me some breakfast. 
Then he put a halter on me and took me round 
to the cottage door. The old woman put a light 
pack-saddle on my back and got up, and then 
George brought her a basket of vegetables, 
which she took on her knee, and we set off to 
market. Nobody in this market-town had ever 

32 




33 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

seen or heard of me, so I came back joyfully to 
my new home. 

I lived there for four years, and was very 
happy. I did my work well and never did any- 
body any harm. I loved my good old mistress 




"'GEORGE'S FATHER SOLD ME TO A FARMER.* 



and little master. They never beat me or made 
me too tired, and they gave me the best food 
they could. We donkeys are not greedy; in 
summer the outside leaves of vegetables and 
plants that cows and horses won't eat, and in 

35 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

winter hay and potato-peel and carrots and 
turnips— that does for us. 

But my happy life there was coming to an end. 
George's father was a soldier, and one day he 
came home. He brought home some money 
with him, so he left the army and bought a house 
in the town, and took his mother and little boy 
to live there, and sold me to a neighboring 
farmer. 

36 



M 



CHAPTER in 

I BECOME IDLE AND BAD 

" Y new master was not a bad sort of man, 
but he had what I thought was a most 
nasty habit of making everybody, in- 
cluding me, work very hard. He used to harness 
me to a little cart, and make me carry earth and 
manure and wood and many other things. I 
began to get idle ; I did n 't like going in harness, 
and I disliked market-days most particularly. 
It was n't that they made me draw too heavy a 
load or beat me, but I had to go without anything 
to eat from the morning till three or four o'clock 
in the afternoon. When the weather was hot, I 
used nearly to die of thirst, and yet I had to wait 
till everything was sold, and my master had got 
all his money, and had had a drink and passed 
the time of day with his friends. 

iStory <^ a Donkiy, 37 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

I was n't always very good in those days. I 
wanted them to treat me very kindly, and, as 
they did n't, I began to think of revenge. You 
see that donkeys are not always stupid, but you 
also see that I was getting bad. 

On market-days in the summer the people at 
the farm always got up very early to cut the 
vegetables and gather the eggs and churn the 
butter, while I was still lying out in the meadow. 
1 used to watch all these preparations going on, 
knowing that at eight o'clock they would come 
and fetch me to be harnessed to the cart. 

Now, I have already said I hated all this very 
much, and so one day I determined to play them 
a trick. 

In the meadow I had noticed a deep ditch 
filled with thistles and blackberry-bushes. 
' ' Now, ' ' I said to myself, ' * I '11 hide in that ditch, 
so that, when they come to fetch me, there '11 be 
no donkey anywhere to be seen." So, as soon 
as I saw the cart being filled and the people 
bustling about, I slipped ojff to the side of the 
field, and lay down very softly in the ditch, so 
that I was quite hidden by the bushes. 

38 







39 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

In a little while I heard one of the farm-boys 
call me, and then run looking about for me 
everywhere, and then go back to the farm. In 
a few minutes I heard the farmer himself say, 
*'He must have got through the hedge. But 
then, where could he have got through? There 
doesn't seem to be a hole anywhere. Oh, I 
know! some one must have left the gate open. 
Who was it? Here, boys, run out and look in the 
fields over yonder He can 't be far off. And 
make haste, for it's getting late, and we shan't 
be in time." 

So the whole farm turned out to look for me. 
It was broiling weather, and after a while, the 
poor people came back very hot, limp, and pant- 
ing for breath. The farmer said bad words, 
and declared that I must have been stolen, and 
that I was a great donkey to let any one steal 
me, and so on. Then he harnessed one of the 
horses to the cart, and drove off very late to 
market, in a very bad temper. 

When I saw that all was quiet again, and that 
nobody was looking, I scrambled out of my ditch, 
and galloped off to the other end of the meadow, 

41 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

so that they shouldn't suspect where I'd 
been, and then I opened my mouth and began 
to say, ''Hee-haw! hee-haw!" with all my 
might. 

At this noise, all the people in the farm rushed 
out. 

' ' Hallo ! why there he is ! " said the shepherd. 

''Where has he been all this while?" said the 
mistress. 

"How has he got in again?" said the carter. 

I was delighted to have got out of going to 
market, and went prancing up to them. They 
were so glad to see me ; they patted me, and said 
I was a very good, clever donkey to have man- 
aged to escape from the thieves who had stolen 
me, till I got quite ashamed of myself, for I knew 
I did n 't deserve all this, and that I did deserve 
the stick. Then they left me to graze all day in 
the meadow, and I should have enjoyed myself 
very much, if only my conscience had n't given 
me a very bad time of it, for such deceit. 

The farmer was very much surprised to see 
me when he came home. The next day he went 
all round the meadow, and carefully stopped up 

42 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

every hole in the hedge he could find, until there 
was n't room for a cat to get through. 

The week passed quietly away until market- 
day came again, and then I hid myself in the 
ditch as before. The people at the * farm 



t& 






^-i^%Le '^-^2^:^ 




"I BEGAN TO SAY, * HEE-HAW I HEE-HAW !' " 



could n't make it out, and thought that the 
thieves that stole me were unusually clever. 

**This time," said the farmer, **he must be 
really lost, and gone for good," and he har- 
nessed one of the horses and went off to market 

43 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

as before. When everything was quiet I came 
out again, but this time I thought I had better 
not say ''Hee-haw!" to let them know I was 
there, and when at last they found me, they 
did n't stroke or pat me, and they said so little 
that I thought they must suspect something. 
But I did n't care, and I said to myself : 

''Ah, yes, my good friends, you '11 think your- 
selves very clever if you find me out, but I don't 
intend you shall," and so when market-day came 
round, I made for my ditch for the third time. 

But scarcely was I safely hidden among the 
thistles and blackberry-bushes, when I heard the 
big watch-dog bark, and then the voice of the 
farmer say— 

"Here, Rover, Rover, good dog!" Then 
"Seek, seek! go and look for him! Bite him 
well!" and in a moment Rover had pounced 
upon my hiding-place, and was growling and 
snapping at my heels in a most unpleasant man- 
ner. I made for the hedge, and tried to force a 
way through, but in vain. 

"Good dog, nice Rover, good dog!" shouted 
the farmer, and he threw at me a lasso, which 

44 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

caught me and stopped me short. Then he led 
me back and tied me up, and I heard that one of 
the farmer's little boys had been watching the 
meadow from a place where I could n't see him. 
and that he had been and told. Little wretch 1 




'HE CAREFULLY STOPPED UP EVERY HOLS.' 



I hated him, till my unhappiness and experience 
of wrong-doing made me repent. 

After that I was much more severely treated. 
They shut me up, but I learned how to draw 
bolts and lift up latches with my teeth, and so 

45 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

get out. All day long you heard the people of 
the farm saying, '*0h, there 's that donkey 
again!" The farmer grumbled and beat me; I 
became worse and worse. I compared my 
wretched life now with the happy one I had led 
in former days under the same master, but in- 
stead of trying to leave off behaving badly I be- 
came more and more naughty and obstinate 
every day. One day I went into the kitchen- 
garden and ate up all the lettuces ; another day 
I knocked down the little boy who had told tales 
about me; another day I drank up a bowl of 
cream that had been set outside the door ready 
for churning; I trod on the fowls, and bit the 
pigs, till at last the mistress said they could n't 
stand it any longer, and she begged her husband 
to sell me at the next fair. 

So, when the fair-day came, my master took 
me away. I should have liked to bite all of them 
well before I left, but I was afraid they would 
tell my new master how bad I was ; and so I con- 
tented myself with being as rude as I could, and 
turning my back on them with a look of con- 
tempt. 

46 




47 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

The fanner sold me to a family where there 
was a little invalid girl whom I had to take out ; 
but I didn't stay there long, for the little girl 



^•■•^:''^H>^.'-...-, 




***I TROD ON THE FOWLS, AND BIT THE PIGS."* 

died, and then her parents, who had never liked 
me, turned me adrift to go where I pleased, and 
to live as best I could. 

49 



CHAPTER IV 

I WIN A RACE 

ALL the next winter I had no one to take 
care of me. I had to live in the forest, 
where I found scarcely enough to eat 
and drink to keep me from dying of hunger and 
thirst. I had plenty of time to think how bad 
I'd been; how happy I was until I had given 
myself over to laziness and spitefulness and 
revenge ; and to make up my mind to turn over 
a new leaf if ever I got the chance. 

When the spring came I went one day to a 
village on the edge of the forest, and was sur- 
prised to find quite a commotion there. The 
people were walking in processions; everybody 
had on their Sunday clothes; and, what was 
strangest of all, every donkey in the neighbor- 
hood seemed to be there. They were sleek and 

50 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 



fat ; their heads were decorated with flowers and 
leaves, and not one of them was in harness or 
had a rider. 

I went trotting up to see if I could find out 
what all this was about, when, all of a sudden, 




^^'^^^^S^y^^^^^m^ - ^^ >i^^ r> 






"THE PEOPLE WERE WALKING IN PROCESSION." 

one of the boys who were standing there saw me, 

and shouted: 
* * Oh, I say, look here ! here 's a fine donkey 1 ' ' 
''My word!'' said another, ''how well 

groomed he is! and how fat and well fed!" and 

they roared with laughter. 

51 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

''I suppose he's come to run in the donkey- 
race, ' ' said a third, ' ' but he won 't win the prize 1 
No fearl" 

I was very much annoyed at these rude jokes 
and personal remarks about myself; but I 
thought I should very much like to take part in 
the race, so I listened again. 

''Where are they going to run!" asked an old 
dame, who had just come up. 

**In the meadow by the mill," said a man 
named Andrew. 

''How many donkeys are there!" asked the 
old woman. 

"Sixteen, Mother Evans, and the one that 
comes in first will win a silver watch and a bag 
of money." 

"Oh, deary me!" said Mother Evans, "I do 
wish I had a donkey. I should so like to have a 
watch. I've never had the money to buy one." 

I liked the look of this old woman; I was 
justly proud of my running ; I had been so long 
in the forest that I was not too fat, as some of 
these prize donkeys were ; and so I would take 
part in the race. I trotted up to the others, and 

52 




4^^4ory of a Donkty, 



53 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

took my place among them, and then, to attract 
attention, I opened my mouth and brayed vigor- 
ously. 

**0h, you stop that!" cried out a man named 
Bill. '*Hi ! you there, donkey, you just stop that 
music will you? and get out of there! You can't 
run, you shabby brute! and, besides, you don't 
belong to anybody." 

I held my tongue, but I did n't budge an inch. 
Some laughed, and others were getting angry, 
when old Mother Evans said: 

**Well, he can have me for his mistress. I 
take him into my service from this minute. So 
now he can run for me." 

**Well," said Bill, **do as you like, mother. 
Only if you want him to run, you've got to put 
sixpence into the bag the Squire's got yonder." 

** All right, my dear," said Mother Evans, and 
she hobbled oflf to where the Squire was sitting 
and paid her subscription into the bag. 

**Very good," said the Squire; *'put Mrs. 
Evans' name down, Richard." 

So the clerk put down my new mistress's 
name. We were all drawn up in a line in the 

55 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

meadow; the Squire said, ''One, two, three, and 
away ! ' ' the boys who held the donkeys let them 
go with a parting whack, and away we galloped 
as hard as we could tear, while the crowd ran 
cheering by the side. 

The other sixteen donkeys had not gone a 
hundred yards before I was in front of them all, 
an easy first. I even had time to turn round now 
and then, and see how savage they looked. They 
were so angry at a shabby donkey like me leav- 
ing them all behind, that some of them did n't 
look where they were going, and tumbled over 
one another, head over heels. Twice Bill's 
donkey came up even with me, but I always got 
in front again. At last he seized my tail in his 
mouth. It hurt me so horribly that I nearly fell 
down; but I plucked up courage, and with a 
sudden bound I whisked my tail out of his mouth 
and got away. I thought I would beat them all 
now, at any rate, and I flew along as if I'd had 
wings, so passed proudly before the winning- 
post, not only first, but quite a long way in front 
of all the rest, amid loud cheers from all those 
who had not got donkeys running themselves. 

56 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

The Squire sat at a table to give away the 
prizes, and Mother Evans, who was almost 
beside herself with delight, stroked and patted 
me, and took* me up to the table with her to 
receive the first prize. 




"HE CAN HAVE ME FOR HIS MISTRESS." 

''Here, my good woman," said the Squire; 
and he was just going to hand the watch and the 
bag of money to the old woman. 

''Please, your worship, it isn't fair!" cried 
Bill and Andrew. "It is n't fair ! That donkey 

57 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

does n't really belong to Mother Evans any more 
than it does to us! It was our donkeys that 
really got in first, not counting this one. The 
watch and money ought to be ours. It isn't 
fair!" 

*'Did Mrs. Evans pay her sixpence into the 
bag ? ' ' said the Squire. 

''Well, your worship, she did, but"— 

''Did any of you object to her doing so at the 
time ? ' ' asked the Squire. 

"Well, no, your worship, but—" 

"Did you raise any objjection when the don- 
keys were just going to start!" 

"Well, no, sir, but-" 

"Very well, then. It 's all perfectly fair, and 
Mrs. Evans gets the watch and bag of money." 

"Please, sir, it isn't fair, it isn't fair! 
You-" 

When I heard this, I at once put my head down 
on the table, and took up the watch and bag in 
my teeth, and put them into Mother Evans' 
hands. This intelligent action on my part made 
the people roar with laughter, and drew me 
thunders of applause. 

58 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

*' There!'' said the Squire, ''the donkey has 
decided in favor of Mother Evans; and," he 
added, with a smile, looking at Bill and Andrew, 
''I don't think he is the biggest donkey 
present!" 




"'I PUT THE WATCH AND BAG INTO HER HANDS.*** 



''Bravo, your worship!" "Good for you!" 
resounded on all sides. And everyone began 
to laugh at Andrew and Bill, who went away 
looking very cross and ill-tempered. 

And was I pleased ? No, not at all. My pride 
was hurt. The Squire had been very rude to 

59 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

me ; he had actually put men, these stupid brutes 
of men, on the same level as an intelligent and 
right-minded donkey like myself! It was too 
much ! I declined to stay in a place where I was 
so insulted, and so I turned tail and trotted 
away from such a disgusting set of people. 

60 










H 
jf 

> 

3 






M 

S 

H 



:3 



6i 



CHAPTER V 

I MAKE l^EW FRIENDS 

PRESENTLY I stopped. I was in a 
meadow. I felt tired and sad, and my tail 
hurt. I was just asking myself whether 
donkeys were not a great deal better than 
hmnan beings, when a soft little hand touched 
me, and a soft little voice Laid : 

''Oh, poor donkey! How thin you are! Per- 
haps you 've been badly treated. Come home 
and see my grandma ! She '11 take good care of 
you.'' 

''I looked round. It was a nice little boy 
about five years old; his little sister, who was 
only three, was running by the side of their 
nurse. 

''What 's that you 're saying, Master Jackt" 
said the nurse. 

63 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

**0h, nursie, I am telling him to come home 
with us to see grandma. ' ' 

'*Yes, yes!" cried the little girl, whose name 
was Janie ; ' * and let me ride on his back. Nurse, 
up, up ! " 

The nurse put the little girl on my back, and 
Jack wanted to lead me, but of course I had no 
bridle on, so he came up and stroked me softly 
and whispered in my ear: 

^*Gee up, Neddy! Come along, dear Neddy!" 

I was so pleased with this little boy's trusting 
me, that I at once followed him all the way, 
occasionally touching his hand with my nose. 

''Oh, nurse, nurse— look! He 's kissing me!" 
cried Jack. 

''Nonsense, my dear!" said the nurse. "He 
does that because he smells the piece of bread 
you Ve got in yeur pocket. ' ' 

I was so hurt at this unkind remark from the 
nurse, that I turned my head away all the rest 
of the time we were going to the house of Jack 
and Janie 's grandmamma. 

When we got there they left me at the door 
and ran in, and in a few minutes they returned, 

64 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

pulling along a kind-looking and pretty old lady 
with white hair. 

''Look, grandma, isn't he a dear donkey!" 
said Jack, clasping his hands. ''And oh, 
grandma, may we keep him?" 





.-4^1 




hW* iHiV'''' 


i '''^*1 wv ''/a Tr 



***pooR donkey! how thin vou ark.*" 



"Let me see him closer, my dears," said the 
old lady, and she came down and patted me, and 
felt my ears, and put her hand in my mouth. I 
stood perfectly still, and was most careful not 
to bite her, even by mistake. 

65 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

*'Well, he does look very gentle, my dears," 
said the old lady. ** Emily," she added, to the 
nurse, ''tell the coachman to make inquiries to 
see to whom he belongs, and if he is not re- 
claimed, we will keep him, at any rate for the 
present. Poor creature, how thin and neglected 
he looks ! Jack, go and call Robert ; I will have 
him put in the stable, with something to eat and 
drink." 

The stableman came and led me away, and 
Jack and Janie followed. I had two horses and 
another donkey for companions in the stable. 
Robert made me a nice litter of straw to sleep 
on, and then went and fetched me a measure of 
oats. 

' ' Oh, Robert, give him more than that ! ' ' cried 
Jack, ''it 's such a little, and Emily says he ran 
in the village race. He must be so tired and 
hungry. More, more!" 

"But, Master Jack," said Robert, "if you 
give him too many oats he will get too lively, 
and then you won't be able to ride him, nor Miss 
Jania either." 

"Oh, he is such a kind donkey, I'm sure he 
66 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

will go quietly for us. Do, Robert, do please 
give him some more ! ' ' 

So Robert gave me another measure of oats, 
and a large pail of water, and some hay, and I 




■:^'' 



^r-ifT^r v^^rfi? t-^'yi*'^ 




<L£T ME SEE HIM CLOSER, MY DEARS.' 



made an enormous supper, and then lay down 
on my straw, and slept like a king. 

The next day I had nothing to do but to take 
the children for an hour's ride. Jack brought 
me my oats himself, and, paying no heed to 
Robert, who told him not to, he gave me enough 

67 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

for three donkeys of my size. I ate it all up, 
and felt delighted at having so many good 
things. 

But on the third day I felt very unwell. My 
head ached. I had indigestion. I was very 
feverish. I could n't eat anything at all, either 
oats or hay. I could n't even get up, and was 
still lying stretched on my straw when Jack 
came to see me. 

''Why, Neddy is still in bed!" cried Jack. 
**Get up, Neddy, it is breakfast-time. I'll give 
you your oats. " 

I tried to lift up my head, but it fell heavily 
back on the straw. 

'*0h, he 's ill, Neddy 's ill!" cried Jack, in a 
great fright. ''Robert, quick, quick! Neddy 's 
very ill I " 

"What 's the matter?" said Robert, coming 
in at the stable door. ' ' I filled his manger early 
this morning. Ah," he added, looking at the 
hay in the manger, which was quite untouched, 
' ' there must be something wrong. ' ' 

He felt my ears ; they were very hot, and my 
sides were throbbing. He looked serious. 

68 




P4 

I 



s 

t 

i 



5 — ^iSorj^ q/ a Donkey, 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

* ' Oh, what is it ? What is it T ' cried poor Jack, 
almost in tears. 

''He 's got the fever. Master Jack, from over- 
eating. I told you how it would be if you would 
give him all those oats. And now we shall have 
to have the vet. ' ' 

''What 's the vet.?" said Jack, looking still 
more scared. 

"The veterinary surgeon, the animals' doc- 
tor," replied Robert. "You see. Master Jack, 
I told you not to do it. This poor donkey has 
lived very poorly all the winter, as any one can 
see from his thinness and the state of his coat. 
Then he got very hot in the donkey-race. He 
ought to have had cool grass to eat, and a very 
few oats, but you went and gave him as much as 
he could eat." 

"Oh, poor Neddy, poor Neddy! He '11 die, and 
it 's all my fault ! ' ' and poor little Jack burst out 
crying. 

"Come, Master Jack, he won't die this time; 
but we shall have to bleed him, and then turn 
him out to grass. ' ' 

Robert sent for the veterinary surgeon, and 
71 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

told Jack to go away. Then he took a lancet, 
and made a little hole with it in a vein in my 
neck. It bled, and I began to feel better. My 
head was n't so heavy, and I fetched my breath 
more easily; I was able to get up. Eobert then 
stopped the bleeding, and in about an hour took 
me out, and left me in a fresh cool meadow. 

I was better, but not yet well, and it was a 
whole week before I could do anything except 
rest in the meadow and crop the grass. Jack 
and Janie took the greatest care of me. They 
came to see me several times a day. They 
picked grass for me, so that I should n't have to 
stoop my head down to get it for myself. They 
brought me cool juicy lettuces from the kitcihen- 
garden, and cabbage-leaves, and carrots; and 
every evening they came to see me home to my 
stable, and there filled my manger for my supper 
with what I liked best of all, potato-peel and 
salt. Jack wanted to give me his pillow one 
night, because he thought that my head was too 
low when I was asleep; and Janie wanted to 
fetch the counterpane off her bed to cover me 
up with, and keep me warm. Another day they 

72 




-'i- ^^ 






73 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

came and put little bits of cotton-wool round my 
feet, for fear they should get cold. I was quite 
unhappy at not knowing how to show them my 
gratitude for such great kindness; but, unfor- 




«THEY BROUGHT ME COOL JUICY LETTUCES.'" 



tunately, I could understand all they said 
without being able to say anything myself. 

At last I was well again, and with Janie and 
Jack and some cousins of theirs who also came 
to stay with their grandmamma, I passed a very 
happy summer. 

75 



CHAPTER VI 

A NEW EXPERIENCE 

WHEN the summer was nearly over, sev- 
eral of the children's fathers and 
mothers came to stay at my mistress's 
house, and the next day it was arranged that the 
gentlemen were to go out partridge-shooting. 
Two of the bigger boys, who were about thirteen 
or fourteen years of age, and whose names were 
Teddy and Dick, were to be allowed to go shoot- 
ing with their fathers for the first time, and a 
gentleman of the neighborhood, with his son 
Norman, who was nearly fifteen, was also to 
join the party. 

The next morning Teddy and Dick were up 
before anybody else, and marched proudly about 
with their guns in their hands, and their game- 
bags slung across their shoulders, talking of all 
the game they were going to bring home. 

76 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

**I say, Teddy," said Dick, **when our game- 
bags are quite full, where shall we put the rest of 
\he game we shall shoot?" 

**That 's just what I was wondering," said 




"MARCHED PROUDLY ABOUT WITH THEIR GUNS." 



Teddy. **I know: we '11 put Neddy's panniers 
on, and take him with us. ' ' 

I did n't like this at all, because I knew these 
young sportsmen would fire at everything they 
saw, and would be quite as likely to shoot me as 
a partridge. But there was no help for it, and 

77 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

so when the party assembled at the front door, 
I was there too, ready, and harnessed by the 
boys. 

** Bless me!" said Norman's father when, 
after a mile or two, he joined them with his 
son, **what 's that donkey for!" 

**That 's to fetch home the yomig gentlemen's 
game, sir," said the keeper, touching his hat, 
with a grin. 

The partridges rose in great numbers. I 
stayed prudently at the rear. The gentlemen 
and the boys made a broad line across the field ; 
shots resounded all along the line; the dogs 
pricked up their ears, watched to see where the 
game fell down, and fetched it in. I kept an eye 
on those young boasters; I saw them shoot, 
and shoot, and shoot again, but they never hit 
anything, not even when the three of them 
aimed at the same partridge at once, for it only 
flew all the better. At the end of two hours the 
gentlemen's game-bags were full, and those of 
the boys still empty. 

**Dear me!" said one of the fathers, as they 
left the field to go to a neighboring farmhouse 

78 






.'^. 







S 









79 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

(where they had left their dinner), and passed 
close to me. **What! the panniers still empty! 
Ah, I suppose you have stuffed all your game 
into your game-bags. My dear boys, if you fill 
them so full, they '11 burst ! ' ' and the gentleman 
looked at the other sportsmen and laughed. 

Dick, Teddy, and Norman got very red, but 
they said nothing, and presently they were all 
seated round a capital basket of provisions 
under a tree— a chicken-pie, ham, hard-boiled 
eggs, cheese, and cake. The boys were raven- 
ously hungry, and ate enough to frighten the 
people who passed by. 

**Well, boys," said Norman's father, **so 
you Ve not been very lucky. Neddy doesn't 
walk as if he were over-burdened with the game 
you 've shot." 

**No," said Norman; **you see, father, we 
had no dogs to fetch in the partridges we shot. 
You had all the dogs." 

**0h, you have shot some, have you! Why 
did n't you go and fetch them in yourselves?" 

** Well, father, you see we did n't see them fall, 
and so we did n't know where they were." 

8i 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

At this all the gentlemen, and even the 
keepers, roared with laughter, and the boys red- 
dened angrily. 

'*Well, then, boys,'' said the father of Dick 
and Teddy, **we will stay here and rest for an 
hour, and you shall go with two of the keepers 
and all our dogs, and see if you have better luck 
this time in finding the partridges you shoot, 
but can't see fall." 

**0h, how jolly! Thanks awfully, father. 
Come on, Dick ; come on, Norman ; now we shall 
have otir bags as full as theirs." 

The gentlemen told the keepers to keep close 
to the boys, and not let them do anything rash. 
They started off with the dogs, and I followed 
some way behind, as usual. The partridges rose 
in numbers, as they did in the morning; the 
dogs were on the watch, but they brought no 
game in, because there was none to bring. 

At last Norman got impatient at having as yet 
shot nothing, and seeing one of the dogs stop 
and prick up his ears, he thought a partridge 
must be just going to rise, and that it would be 
much easier to shoot it while it was still on the 

82 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

ground than when it was flying. So he took 
aim and fired. 

There was a yell of pain, and the dog made a 
leap into the air, and then rolled over, quite 
dead. 




«« « YOU *VE SHOT OUR VERY BEST DOG.* " 

* * You young idiot ! ' ' shouted the keeper, as he 
ran to the spot, **you Ve been and shot our very 
best dog! Here 's a pretty end of your fine 
sport ! ' ' 

Norman stood speechless from fright. Dick 
and Teddy looked scared out of their wits. The 

6— story of a Donkey, 85 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

keeper restrained his anger, and stood looking 
at the poor dog without another word. 

I went up to see who was the unfortunate vic- 
tim of Norman's stupid recklessness. Judge of 
my horror when I recognized my old friend 
Jenny! I had known Jenny as a puppy, when 
she lived at the dog-fancier's at the comer of 
the market where I used to carry vegetables in 
bygone days. Poor old Jenny ! She and I had 
been such friends! To think she should have 
come to this! That wretched, conceited boy! 

We turned back towards the farm, a sad pro- 
cession. The keeper put Jenny's body into one 
of my panniers, and walked along, saying bad 
words to himself; the boys followed, with hang- 
ing heads and downcast looks ; my one consola- 
tion lay in the severe scolding they would get, 
and serve them right. 

The sportsmen were still sitting under the 
tree, and were suri)rised when they saw us com- 
ing. Seeing that something looked wrong, and 
that one of my panniers was hanging heavily 
down, they got up and came quickly towards us. 
The boys hung back ; the keeper went forward. 

86 










^ '; /i!^^''^^^^ ,../; .X' -!- Vf 






ad 

8 

1< 



87 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

**Wliat have they shot?" asked one of the 
gentlemen. **Is it a sheep or a calf?" 

**It 's nothing to laugh at, sir," replied the 
keeper ; * 4t 's our very best dog, Jenny. That 
young gentleman shot her, thinking she was a 
partridge." 

* * Jenny ! My word ! Catch me taking boys out 
shooting again ! ' ' 

**Come here, Norman," said his father. 
*Must see to what a pass your idiotic and 
ridiculous conceit has brought you! Say 
good-by to your friends, sir, and go straight 
home at once! You will put your gun in my 
room, and you will not lay a finger on it 
again till you have learned a little reason and a 
more modest opinion of yourself!" 

**But, father," said Norman, trying to look 
as if he did not care, * * everybody knows that all 
great sportsmen sometimes shoot their dogs by 
mistake!" 

His father looked at him for a moment, and 
then, turning to the others with an air of dis- 
gust, he said: 

** Gentlemen, I really must apologize to you 

89 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

for having ventured to bring with me to-day a 
boy who has so little sense of decent behavior. 
I never imagined he was capable of such silly 
impertinence/' He then turned towards his 
son, and said, severely : 




«THK BOYS BURIED MY FRIKNT) IN THE GARDEN.' 



' ' You have heard ray order, sir. Go at once ! ' ' 
Norman hung his head and departed in con- 
fusion. 

'*Y"ou see, boys," said Dick and Teddy's 
father, **what comes of conceit, of thinking you 

90 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

are so much cleverer than you really are. This 
might have happened to either of you. You 
were so very sure that nothing was easier than 
shooting, and this is the result. You have all 
three been perfectly absurd the whole morning ; 
you scoffed at our advice and experience, and 
now you have caused the death of my poor 
Jenny. It is quite clear that you are too young 
to be allowed to go shooting, so you can go back 
to your boys ' games, and it will be better for all 
concerned. ' ' 

Dick and Teddy hung their heads without a 
word. The party turned sadly homewards, and, 
after tea, the boys buried my poor friend in the 
garden. 

91 



CHAPTER VII 

I HEAR MYSEUP* CAULED CLEVER 

AFKW days after this there was a fair in 
the next village, and all my mistress's 
jrrandchiUlren were to be taken there by 
their fathers and mothers for a treat. There 
were fifteen of them altogether, or sixteen in- 
ehiding me, for little Jaek and his cousin Harry 
rode on my hack, and the rest walked or drove in 
two carriages. 

When we got to the fair we heard some people 
talking about a wonderful i>erforming donkey 
that was said to be very clever, and that would 
begin his tricks in ten minutes at the other end 
of the meadow where the fair was being held. 

"Oil, father, we must go and see him," said 
Teddy. ** Please, may we?" 
''Certainly, my boy ; we ought to see this per- 
92 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

forming donkey, though, for my part, I don't 
believe he could beat Neddy, there, for intelli- 
gence and sagacity." 

I was much pleased to hear the gentleman's 
good opinion of me, so I headed the little pro- 




*JACK AND HIS COUSIN RODE ON MY BACK.' 



cession to the other end of the field. Jack's 
mother lifted him and Harry down oflf my back, 
and stood them upon a bench, close to the path 
that was left open for people to come into the 
enclosure, which was surrounded with seats. I 

93 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

was left outside, just behind my two little 
friends. 

In a few minutes the showman appeared, lead- 
ing in the donkey that was supposed to be so 
clever. He was a poor, dismal-looking creature, 
who looked as if he wanted a good meal. 

** Jack," said little Harry to his cousin, loud 
enough for me to hear, **I don't think that 
donkey looks very clever. I 'm sure he 's not 
nearly so clever as our dear old Neddy." 

I thought so, too, and was very much pleased 
to hear Harry say so; so I thought to myself, 
**I '11 let them all know it before long, or my 
name's not Neddy," and I left the place where 
I had been standing, and took up my position in 
the pathway that had been left for the people to 
come in by. 

'* Ladies and gentlemen," began the show- 
man, **I have the honor to introduce to you Mr. 
Muffles, the wonderful performing donkey. This 
donkey, ladies and gentlemen, is not such a 
donkey as he looks. He knows a great deal, a 
great deal more than some of you. He is a 
donkey without peer. Come, Muffles, show the 

94 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

company what you can do. Make your bow, and 
let these ladies and gentlemen see that you Ve 
learned manners." 

The donkey went forward two or three steps, 
and bent his head in a melancholy fashion. I 
was most indignant with the showman; I 
thought to myself, **It 's quite easy to see that 
this poor Muffles has been taught his tricks at 
the rope's end"; and I made up my mind to be 
revenged on that man before the performance 
was over. 

**Now, Muffles, take this nosegay, and give it 
to the prettiest lady here." 

Muffles took the bunch of flowers in his teeth, 
and walked sadly all round the ring, and at last 
went and dropped the nosegay into the lap of a 
very ugly, fat woman. She was close to me, 
and I could see that she had a jiece of sugar 
concealed in her hand. '*The old cheat!" I 
thought. **0f course, she 's the showman's 
wife." I was so disgusted with what looked 
like the donkey's bad taste that, before any one 
could stop me, I had leaped right into the ring, 
had seized the nosegay off the woman's lap in 

97 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

my teeth, and had trotted round and laid it at 
the feet of little Janie. 

The crowd all clapped me vigorously. They 
wondered who I was. **So intelligent!" they 
said to each other. Muffles' master, however, 
did not seem pleased. As for Muffles himself, 
he took no notice whatever. I began to think 
he must really be rather a stupid animal, and 
tliat isn H common with us donkeys. 

When the audience was quiet again, the show- 
man said: 

*'Now, Muffles, you Ve shown us the prettiest 
lady here. Now go and point out the silliest 
person present," and so saying he gave him a 
big dunce's cap made of colored paper and 
adorned with rosettes. 

Muffles took it in his teeth, and went straight 
to a heavy-looking fat boy, with a face exactly 
like a pig, and put it on his head. The fat boy 
was so like the fat woman that it was quite easy 
to SCO he must be the showman's son, and of 
course his confederate. 

''Good!" said I to myself, ''now 's the 
time!" 

98 




99 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

And before they could think of stopping me, 
I had seized the cap oflf the boy's head, and was 
pursuing the showman himself round and round 
the ring. The crowd roared with laughter, and 




***I LEAPED RIGHT INTO THE RING.'" 

clapped till they were tired. All at once, the 
showman tripped, and went down on one knee ; 
I profited by this to put the cap firmly on his 
head, and to ram it down till it covered his chin. 
The showman said bad words, and danced 

1 story of a Donkty, I O I 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

about trjing to tear the cap off, and I stood on 
my hind legs and capered about just like hun, 
and tlie crowd nearly died of laughing. *'Well 
done, donkey ! Bravo, donkey ! It 's you that 's 
the real performing donkey!*' they shouted. 

There was no doing anything more after this. 
Hundreds of people crowded into the ring, and 
were so anxious to pat me that I was afraid they 
would tear me to pieces. The people from our 
own village, who knew me, were tremendously 
proud of me, and before very long all the people 
in the place were telling wonderful and most 
exaggerating tales of my intelligence and ad- 
ventures. They said I had once been at a fire, 
and worked a fire-engine all by myself; that I 
had gone up a ladder to the third story, opened 
my mistress's door, woke her up, picked her up 
by her night-gown, and jumped with her safely 
to the ground off the roof. They said that 
another time I had, all alone, slain fifty robbers, 
strangling them one after the other with my 
teetli when they were asleep, so cleverly that no 
one had time to wake up and give the alarm to 
the others; and that I had then gone into the 

I02 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

caves where the robbers lived, and had set free 
a hundred and fifty prisoners whom the robbers 
had captured, and were fattening down there to 
kill and eat. And another time, they said, I had 
run in a race, and beaten all the swiftest horses 




"THEY SAID 1 HAD GONE UP A LADDER." 

in the country, and had run seventy-five miles in 
five hours without stopping. 

The crowd got thicker and thicker to hear 
those wonderful tales, and was now so dense 
that some of the people could hardly breathe, 

103 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

and the police had to come and disperse the 
crowd. It was with the greatest difficulty, even 
with the help of the policemen, that I was able 
to get away, and I was obliged to pretend both 
to bite and to kick in order to dear a path; but 
of course I did n't hurt anybody. 

At last I got free from the crowd, and out into 
the road. I looked about for Jack and Harry 
and tlie others, but they were nowhere to be 
seen; for directly they saw that the crowding 
was becoming dangerous, the children's fathers 
and mothers had hurried them away. I thought 
porhai>s it was so, and, losing no time, I took the 
road home. Before I had gone a mile I over- 
took them, fifteen people packed into the two 
carriages: and by tea-time we had ail got home 
safe and sound, everybody quite delighted with 
my remarkable sagacity. 

But, after it was all over, I began to think of 
the unfortunate showman, and after a time I felt 
very, very sorry for the unkind trick I had 
played him. 

104 







^"i 

^ \ '^ 






'.-.^i-S 



_- ^_to 



los 



CHAPTER VIII 

I HAVE MY REVENGE 

I NEVER could like that boy Norman; I 
thought him so cowardly, and at the same 
time so conceited. I couldn't forget that 
he. had killed poor Jenny, my doggy friend. So 
one day, when he came to my mistress's house 
on a visit, and insisted on having a ride on my 
back, **Now," thought I to myself, **I '11 have 
my revenge." 

Just beyond the garden there was a wood; 
and beyond the wood there was a very deep and 
very dirty ditch, generally full to the brim with 
mud. Norman had been boasting what an ex- 
cellent rider he was, and invited the others to 
come with him through the wood, and to see him 
jump the ditch ; and they all came, though they 
did n't believe he could do it. 

107 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

Scarcely had they started, Xonnan on my 
back, and the others mnning by the side along 
the path through the wood, when I threw up my 
heels and dashed aside off the path into the 
bushes. *'A11 right/' shouted Xonnan, **you 
run on by the path as far as the ditch, and see 
whether I don't jump it before you get there." 

''Oh, will you!'' I said to myself. I went 
along quietly for a little way, where the bushes 
were thin and fairly far apart, and then, without 
any warning, I plunged right into a thicket of 
brambles. My skin is tough, so I didn't mind 
them, but Norman's face and hands and stock- 
inged legs were nicely scratched, and the thorns 
stuck into his clothes from head to foot. He 
looked a nice object by the time we got to the 
ditch; he had quite lost his boastful idea of 
jmnping over it, and did all he could to make 
me stop and let him get off my back. 

**Xot if I know it,'' thought I. **I shall never 
get such a chance again of punishing you for 
shooting Jenny," and so I gallov>ed along the 
edge of the ditch, and when I had reached a very 
steep and slipiH>ry place, I suddenly stopped 

108 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

short, and jerked Norman off my back. He was 
unable to gain his footing, and pitched headlong 
into the thick, black mud. 

Just then the other children came racing down 
the path ; but what was their surprise and alarm 




"NORMAN'S FACE AND HANDS WKRK NICELY SCRATCHED." 

to see me gazing into the ditch, and Norman 
nowhere to be seen. 

''Norman! Norman!" they shouted, ** where 
are you?" 

** Here— oh, help!" said a half -stifled voice at 
109 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

last. They looked down into the ditch, and 
there was Xoniian, half-drowned in mud; he 
had recovered his feet and was standing on 
the bottom of the ditch: but it was nearly five 
feet deep, and the mud was up to his neck. 
'*Help me out! oh, help me out! I shall be 
drowned I" 

Xorman's screams attracted the attention of 
two farm laborers who were passing near at 
hand, and they ran up to see what was the mat- 
ter. Ill a few minutes they had got a* long pole 
out of a fence close by, and had let one end 
down into the ditch for Xonnan to catch hold 
of; aud then the men pulled slowly at the other 
end of the pole, and at last Xonnan managed to 
scramble out. He was soaked through and 
through with mud, and his teeth were chattering 
with cold aud terror. I began to be sorry for 
what I had done, and kept behind the children, 
who were hurrying Xorman home as fast as he 
could go. 

The next day I heard that X'onnan was very 
ill ; he was obliged to stay in bed, and the doctor 
was afraid he was going to have a bad fever, 

no 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

and be ill a long while. He shook his head 
when the children went to inquire after Norman, 
and advised my mistress not to let the children 
ride me at present, mitil Norman was better, and 
could tell them how the accident had happened. 




"I JERKED NORMAN OFF MY BACK.** 

I knew it was not an accident, and began to be 
dreadfully afraid of what I had done. When 
Norman got well enough to tell them all about 
it, and how badly I had behaved, they all looked 
very serious. 

Ill 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

The next morning, when Robert, the stable- 
man, came as usual to fetch me to be sad- 
dled and to take Jack and Janie for a ride, 
he said nothing to me, and, to my great alarm, 
groomed and saddled the other donkey that 
lived in the stable instead. In a few minutes 
Jack came in at the door, his face very sad, and 
his eyes full of tears. 

** Neddy,*' he said, **I 'm so very, very sorry, 
but grandma won't let me ride you any more. 
She 's afraid you '11 be naughty again, and kick 
me off, as you did poor Norman. Oh, Neddy 
dear, how could you ? ' ' 

I was dreadfully upset by this, and wanted to 
explain to Jack that I was only nasty to Norman 
because I hated him, and that I wouldn't think 
of doing it to him, or Janie, or anybody else 
whom I loved, and who were kind to me. But, 
alas ! I did n't know how to say this to Jack, and 
I only drooped my head, and touched his 
shoulder with my nose. 

**Mind, Master Jack," said Robert, ** don't 
let that vicious donkey touch you. Perhaps 
he '11 bite you. Come away, my dear, directly," 

112 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

and Robert seized Jack with his hand, and 
pulled him away. 

**Yes, nasty horrid brute!" said Teddy, who, 
with all the others, had come to the stable door. 
**0f course, Norman isn't always nice, but 




"HK WAS SOAKED THROUGH AND THROUGH WITH MUD." 

Neddy had no business to try and drown him. 
I '11 take good care I don't have anything more 
to do with such a brute!" 

**More will I," said Dick, and all the others. 
Jack looked very sorrowful, but as Robert put 

113 



THE STORY OF A DOXKEY 

him on the other donkey's back and led him 
away he looked romid and said to me in his 
usual kind little voice: 

**Poor, poor Neddy! Never mind, I '11 always 
love you all the same, though I must n't ride you 
any more, and perhaps some day you'll be good 
again, won't you, dear Neddy!" 

I could have cried when I heard this. It was 
more than I could bear. As soon as Jack was 
gone, I crept out of the stable, and made my way 
into the fields. Then I lay down and thought of 
all the wicked things I had done in my life : how 
I had knocked my first mistress down, and 
broken her nose; how I had deceived the 
farmer, and how revengeful and evil I had been 
when he punished mo for my deceit. I thought 
of all the happy life I had led in my present 
home, and how very, very kind they had all been 
to me until I had done this wicked thing to 
Norman. Noraian had killed poor Jenny, it is 
true; but then he didn't do it on purpose, and 
his father had pimished him for it; what busi- 
es had T to give way to feelings of revenge! I 
Drh^ nf dear little Janie and Jack, and how 
114 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

good and kind they had been to me when I was 
ill ; and when I remembered that, owing to my 
wickedness, they were not to be allowed to 
ride me any more, I felt so unhappy that I 
could n't keep still any longer. I began to tear 




"HK SADDLED THE OTHER DONKEY." 

about as hard as I could, trying to run away 
from myself, but the faster I ran, the more mis- 
erable I was, until at last I ran my head right 
up against a stone wall, and dropped down 
stunned. 

"5 



THE STORY OF A DOXKEY 

THieii I came to myself it was late in the after- 
noon* and I oonid n*t tell where I was. Three 
people were sitting a little way oflf by the road- 
side. but their backs were turned, so they didn't 
see me. What was my astonishment to recog- 
nize the man who owned the performing donkey, 
Muffles^ with his wife and son ! They looked 
unhappy and hungry, and I learned from what 
they said that poor Muffles had been badly hurt 
by the crowd that day at the fair, and that they 
had l^eeu obliged to leave him for a time with a 
kind fanner who offered to turn him out to grass 
iu his field, while they went about looking for 
a little work to keep them alive until Muffles 
was once more well enough to perform at 
fairs. 

AVhen I heard all this, I felt still more un- 
happy, for it was all my fault that Muffles had 
been hurt and the showman's family obliged to 
go hungry Kvause they had no money to buy 
food. Then I suddenly thought how, that morn- 
ing, little .lack had IioihhI I would some day turn 
good again. ''I can begin to be good again 
this very minute," thought I. **I can follow 

ii6 




I 

H—Story of a Donkey, 



117 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

these people to the next village, and earn some 
money for them by performing tricks." So up 
I jumped, and trotted behind them till they 
stopped at the door of a little inn, and asked the 
host if he would let them stay there that night. 




r^-'V-^-^-r^ -n::5".^ r. - - *5 



"ROBERT LED HIM AWAY.'' 



They said they had no money to pay for a 
night's lodging, but perhaps he could give them 
some work to do instead. The host shook his 
head, and said that he had plenty of people in 

119 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

his house to do all his work, and that the show- 
man must go somewhere else. 

Just as they were turning sorrowfully away 
from the door, I trotted up, bowed to the inn- 
keeper, and then stood up on my hind legs and 




***I TROTTED BEHIND THEM TO A LITTLE INN.*" 



began to dance. I did several of the tricks that 
Muffles was accustomed to do, and I did them so 
gracefully that quite a large crowd collected. 
At last I thought it was time to make the collec- 
tion, so I picked up the showman's hat in my 
teeth and took it round to everybody in the 

1 20 




121 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

crowd. Such a lot of coppers fell into the hat, 
that I had to go twice and turn them into the 
showman's wife's apron, before I had finished; 
and when they came to count all the money up, 
it came to nine and threepence ! So the showman 
and his wife and boy were able to have a good 
supper and a night's lodging at the inn, and 
then they gave me a supper and a night's lodg- 
ing in the stable. 

The next morning I followed them to the 
next place, which was a small town, and we gave 
two or three performances in different parts of 
the town; so that before dinner-time I had 
earned for the showman no less than twenty- 
three and sixpence, and then I thought I had 
atoned for my unkindness to him on the day of 
the fair, and that I would go back and try and 
show Jack that I was good now. 

I soon found the right road, and got to the 
house in the afternoon when everything was 
quiet, and all the people indoors at tea. Just as 
I came up to the high wall of the kitchen garden, 
on my way to the stable, I saw a tramp trying to 
climb over it, doubtless intending to steal things 

123 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

out of the garden. I made a jump, and caught 
the tramp's foot in my mouth, and pulled him 
down. He called out for help, but in another 
moment he fell, and knocked his head, and lay 
still. At this moment, another tramp came 
running up ; I gave him a kick as he passed me, 
and stretched him flat by his friend. The second 
tramp howled so loudly that all the servants 
came running out of the house to see what was 
the matter. I was still standing over the 
tramps ready to kick them if they offered to get 
up. When tlie servants questioned them, the 
tramps' replies were so suspicious that their legs 
and hands were tied, and they were taken into 
the house, and the police sent for. 

So I had saved my good mistress's garden, 
and perhaps several other people's houses, from 
being robbed. Every one was so pleased with 
my intelligence that they said I should be for- 
given for my past wickedness, and that the 
bigger boys should ride me for a time; and if 
they found me always gentle and quiet, then per- 
haps they would let Janie and Jack ride me as 
before. 

124 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

To crown all, I heard in a few days that 
Norman was nearly well again, and that he bore 
me no ill-will, for he said he thought I could n't 
have done it on purpose, but that I must have 
seen something or other in the path, perhaps a 
toad or a piece of paper, that frightened me and 
made me run away. How dreadfully ashamed 
of myself I felt when I heard this! After all, 
Norman seemed a much better and more gener- 
ous boy than I had at first imagined. At any 
rate, he was not revengeful. 

127 



CONCLUSION. 

FROM that day onward I lived a very happy 
life. My kind old mistress said that I 
should never be sent away, or want for 
anything, but should remain with the family as 
long as I lived, and that they would do all in 
their power to take care of me. Jack had loved 
me even when I was wicked and miserable, so I 
was always looked upon as Jack's donkey, even 
when Jack was at home in London. He always 
paid his grandmamma a long visit every sum- 
mer, until he was ten years old, and then he 
went away with Janie and his father and mother 
to Australia; and then I was considered to be 
Harry's donkey, because Harry, most often of 
all her grandchildren, stayed in the country with 
his grandmamma. Harry is not so good as Jack 
was, but he is a kind boy, and never treats me 
roughly, and he always takes great care of me, 

129 



THE STORY OF A DONKEY 

and calls me his dear old Neddy. I am getting 
old now, and perhaps I sha'n't live very much 
longer, and so last winter I began to write this 
story of my life and adventures, because I want 
you to treat all of us donkeys kindly, and to 
remember that we are often much more sensible 
than some human beings. 

Your affectionate friend, 

NEDDY. 
130 



ALTRMUS' GOOD TIMES SERIES 

Handsomely printed, profusely Illustrated and attractively bound. 
Cloth, Illuminated covers {S% x 1% inches) 50 cents each. 

~ UNDER THE STARS 

By Florence Morse Kingsley 

Fbur beautiful stories from the life of Jesus. 
A Watch in the Night. The Only Son of His Mother. 

The Child in Jerusalem. The Children's Bread. 



THE STORY OF THE ROBINS 

By Sarah Trimmer 

*'The Story of the Robins" was first published In England under the 
title of " Fabulous Histories," in 1785, and acquired instant popularity. 
It has been issued in all sizes and styles; it has received nothing but 
praise from the greatest of critics ; and it has been illustrated by the best 
artists. It compares favorably with modern works which teach kindness to 
animals. 

JACKANAPES 

By Juliana H. Ewing 

In the story of "Jackanapes," the Captain's child, with his clear blue 
eyes and mop of yellow curls, is the one important figvire. The doting 
aunt, the faithful Tony, the irascible General, the postman, the boy- 
trumpeter, the silent Major, and the ever-dear Lollo, are there, it is true, 
but they group around the hero in subordinate positions. In all they say 
and do and feel they conspire to reflect the glory and beauty of the noble, 
generotis, tender-spirited "Jackanapes." 

THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING 

By Elizabeth Wetherell 

This story of the Christmas Stocking has helped to make many children 
bappy, for without it many fathers and mothers would have never thought 
of making arrangements for the visit of Santa Claus, who never comes 
where he is not maoe welcome. The things little Carl fotmd in his stocking 
told him stories which should help us into the habit of remembering those 
who have not all the good things we possess. 

LADDIE 

By the Author of ** Miss Toosey*s Mission " 

A charming story that has been popular for many years, and deservedly so. 

MAKING A START 

By Tudor Jenks. 

A story of a bright boy who did not wait for "something to turn up," 
but exercised his talent for drawing until he secured a good position on a 
great daily newspaper. A book for boys who are learning that " the secret 
of success is constancy to purpose." 

HENRY ALTEMUS COMPANY, PHILADELPHIA 
131 



ALTEMUS' GOOD TIMES SERIES 

Handsomely printed, profusely illustrated and attractively bound. 
Cloth, illuminated covers (S}4 x 7H inches) 50 cenU each. 

THE STORY OF A DONKEY^ 

By Mme. La Comtesse de Segur. 

In this book the donkey tells the story of his life and adventure, be- 
cause, as he sasrs, " I want you to treat all cf us donkeys kindly, and to 
remember that we are often much more sensible than some human beines.'* 
The story has always been exceedingly popular and has delighted thousands 
of readers. 



MISS TOOSEY'S MISSION 

By the Author of ** Laddie.** 

A delightful and wholesome story that has had a wide circulation and still 
holds its popularity. 

A BLUE GRASS BEAUTY 

By Gabrielle E. Jackson. 

Never did Kentucky turn out a handsomer creature than the Blue Grass 
Beauty who twice carried off the Blue Ribbon at New York's great annual 
horse show. With the story of his life is woven that of some very nice 
people, and all is set forth in Mrs. Jackson's inimitable manner. It is far too 
good a book to mislay. 



THE STORY OF A SHORT LIFE 

By Juliana IL Evving. 

In " The Story of a Short Life,'* Mrs. Ewing again sings the praises of 
military Hfe and courtesies. Many people admire Leonard's story as 
much as *' Jackanapes," possibly because the circums^nces of the former's 
life are much more within the range of common experiences than those of the 
latter. It is a simple, exquisitely tender little story. 

JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER 

By Hesba Stretton. 

a beautiful and pathetic story which appeals to all children, and to older 
readers as well. 



THE ADVENTURES OF BARON 
MUNCHAUSEN 

By Rudolph Erich Raspe. 

In 1737 Baron Munchausen served in Russian campaigns against the 
Turks, and after his return acquired great notoriety by his exaggerated 
stories of adventure. These stories are so outrageous, and Munchausen 
asserts so strongly that they are all strictly true, that bis name has become 
proverbial as a synonym for extravaeaot boastiog. 

HENRY ALTEMUS COMPANY, PHILADELPHIA 
132 



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